Helping Kids Who Are Afraid to Visit the Doctor

Dr. Kevin Buckwalter practices as a physician in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area. In addition to offering health services to adults, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter also provides pediatric care, or health care for children.

It is very important that children see a doctor regularly for preventive care and regular checkups, as well as to address any sicknesses or health problems that may arise. However, getting a child to cooperate when it’s time for a doctor’s visit can be a challenge, particularly if the child is afraid of the doctor or sees going to the doctor as a negative experience. Fortunately, there are a number of things parents can do to make taking their children to the doctor more pleasant.

First of all, a parent should help the child know what to expect. For example, the parent might talk with the child and tell him or her what might happen during the visit. This can include discussing which tools the doctor will use, such as the stethoscope and tongue depressor, and how the doctor will use them. The parent should then answer the child’s questions and correct any misconceptions the child might have. In some cases, it might help a younger child to tag along on an older sibling’s visit to the doctor. Finally, the parent should convey the experience of going to the doctor in a positive light by explaining that the purpose of going to the doctor is to stay well and healthy. This way, the child will be less likely to view visits to the doctor as negative or scary events.

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